Formative Titles

Every game enthusiast has a core group of titles that aren't just great to play, but they define them as a 'gamer'. These touchstones have had such an influence on that person's playing habits that they can't even conceive of their life without having experienced them. The ironic thing is I'll probably remember more of them after posting.

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Edited by ahoodedfigure

My Impossible Mission was on the 7800.  Rumored to be impossible to complete.  I should check the 'net to see if anyone's beaten any version, because that game was damn hard, but VERY different and very cool.  
 
Colossus was just awesome.
 
Good write-ups!

Posted by buzz_clik
@ahoodedfigure: Yeah, I can speed run through the C64 version. Actually, you've totally given me an idea - seeing as it's my favouritest ever game, I should totally track down all the versions ever released on any machine and see if I can beat them all. Aside from the cherished C64 classic, I've also finished the Master System incarnation as well.
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Edited by ahoodedfigure
@buzz_clik: I didn't even know there WAS a Master System version.  You might want to read up on the 7800 version to make sure it's beatable, since I think I read somewhere that it was almost literally an impossible mission.  Good to know it's not generally impossible, though :)
 
What sort of strategy is there?  Search the stuff that takes the least amount of time?  Search everything, one after another?
Posted by buzz_clik
@ahoodedfigure said:
" @buzz_clik: I didn't even know there WAS a Master System version.  You might want to read up on the 7800 version to make sure it's beatable, since I think I read somewhere that it was almost literally an impossible mission.  Good to know it's not generally impossible, though :)  What sort of strategy is there?  Search the stuff that takes the least amount of time?  Search everything, one after another? "
Man, you've got me really curious about the 7800 version now! I'm about to head home, but tomorrow I'm going to do some research on it.
 
I've played the C64 version so much that it's pretty much second nature to me. The thing to learn is how to make the robots betray what kind of attack / patrol pattern they're operating under. The best strategy is to get somewhere -- preferably out of zapping range -- that the robot can see you, so it'll react (or not, as the case can sometimes be). Just like everything else in the game it's randomly determined, so you'll have to suss out each robot every time. But once you get into the swing of it, it's pretty easy to come up with strategies to jump and whizz past the little buggers.
 
I usually clean out every room going left to right, then once I've got all the puzzle pieces I quickly slap them together and finish the game. The puzzle pieces are sorta random, although it uses the same shapes all the time  - they're just disguised by having other preset shapes cut out of them. It's hard to explain, but once you start figuring out and recognising the different puzzle piece shapes, you'll start getting into it.
 
I should probably write a strategy guide. Then again, who's going to read it? :)
Moderator
Posted by ahoodedfigure
@buzz_clik said: 
 

 I didn't even know there WAS a Master System version.  You might want to read up on the 7800 version to make sure it's beatable, since I think I read somewhere that it was almost literally an impossible mission.  Good to know it's not generally impossible, though :)  What sort of strategy is there?  Search the stuff that takes the least amount of time?  Search everything, one after another? "

Man, you've got me really curious about the 7800 version now! I'm about to head home, but tomorrow I'm going to do some research on it.  I've played the C64 version so much that it's pretty much second nature to me. The thing to learn is how to make the robots betray what kind of attack / patrol pattern they're operating under. The best strategy is to get somewhere -- preferably out of zapping range -- that the robot can see you, so it'll react (or not, as the case can sometimes be). Just like everything else in the game it's randomly determined, so you'll have to suss out each robot every time. 


Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I thought each room was treated as a puzzle in itself.   Where it was placed in the game world was random, but the room itself never changes, so all you have to do is notice what the pattern is for the room and you can figure out a way to beat the robots.  Watched part of a C64 playthrough and I recognized the exact same room patterns that I remember from before.  I think without the robots being the same, you might wind up with rooms that you can't beat without software, which might make it unbeatable if you run out of the sleepers.
 
I remember each robot had different potential behaviors.  Some were blind, some were deaf, some couldn't shoot, some were slow, and you had to remember/assess each robot in order to figure out how to get past it.  Man, I wished you could just blow the things up :)

 But once you get into the swing of it, it's pretty easy to come up with strategies to jump and whizz past the little buggers.  I usually clean out every room going left to right, then once I've got all the puzzle pieces I quickly slap them together and finish the game. The puzzle pieces are sorta random, although it uses the same shapes all the time  - they're just disguised by having other preset shapes cut out of them. It's hard to explain, but once you start figuring out and recognising the different puzzle piece shapes, you'll start getting into it.  I should probably write a strategy guide. Then again, who's going to read it? :) "

The coolest part for me was the puzzle pieces, because they had multiple ways to fit together but not multiple solutions.  I'd get fascinated with the puzzle early on, before I collected all the pieces, which may be why I never finished the game...  No fair having a fun distraction like that!  I really liked the personal computer that you had access to. 
Posted by buzz_clik
@ahoodedfigure said:
" Correct me if I'm wrong on this, but I thought each room was treated as a puzzle in itself.   Where it was placed in the game world was random, but the room itself never changes, so all you have to do is notice what the pattern is for the room and you can figure out a way to beat the robots.  Watched part of a C64 playthrough and I recognized the exact same room patterns that I remember from before.  I think without the robots being the same, you might wind up with rooms that you can't beat without software, which might make it unbeatable if you run out of the sleepers.
 
I remember each robot had different potential behaviors.  Some were blind, some were deaf, some couldn't shoot, some were slow, and you had to remember/assess each robot in order to figure out how to get past it.  Man, I wished you could just blow the things up :) "
The original C64 tape copy I've got has one side labelled 'Non-Random Side', which I assume means that there's a version that always keeps things the same. I never used to play it, because I like mixing it up and having everything random for every playthrough. For me, each robot did something different when I'd (re)start the game.
 
There used to be an annoying bug in some copies of the game, too: sometimes if a robot was flush against the right-hand wall and fire its laser into it, your agent would get fried no matter where he was in the room (cue fizzling noise). Thankfully this wasn't on the tape I owned as a kid -- I doubt my long-term love for this game would have occurred -- but I've bumped into various legit copies over the years that do contain this flub.
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Edited by ahoodedfigure

 
Since my experience was just with the 7800, I can see what you mean.  The rooms were always randomly placed in the complex, but the rooms themselves were the same.  I guess the C64 version was different, then.  If it's true about the different versions I can see why.  A completely random game would make it impossible like that, so it would have to be random within certain limits to be worthwhile to play.
 
By the way, the wiki wiki describes the bug.